Cateye HL EL-500



M

Mark Thompson

Guest
Got one this morning. Cyclexpress.co.uk send 'em off for £38 and a bit
with free postage. They were fast too and send confirmation emails when
you've bought it and when they've processed it ready for Royal Mail to
pick up.

Seems as bright as a regular light rechargable halogen light, but has a
30 hour battery life. Judging from the graph on the side of the box the
light will lose 20-30% of its brightness over that 30 hours.

Build quality seems good, but I had to gently bend two metal contacts
that connected to the switch electronics before it would work - a
testament to Cateyes fine tolerances and lack of quality control perhaps?

The bright 'spot' is very narrow, and outside of that the light it's not
very bright at all. It may have been better off with a less concentrated
spot and more light to the sides.

Initially the light was tilted down slightly, but after being cut up by
an idiot (4x4) driver turning left through me (without signalling) it
will be mounted dead level, shining into their wing mirrors. The old
light is mounted next to the cateye on flashing mode.

The bracket is cunningly designed to let the light swivel a few degrees
to each side, presumably for swept handlebars.


Pros
Long battery life for such a bright light
Lightish (weighs a bit more than 4 AA battries, strangely enough)
Completely waterproof

Cons
Outside of the central spot the amount of light is disappointing.
Only has a steady mode (not that you'd want it flashing - would be an
instant migraine for oncoming cagers, peds and cyclists.
Didn't ruddy work until I'd prodded bits.
How much!??!

Conclusion

The small spot and mediocre brightness outside of the spot lets it down.
At £40 not an essential purchase
 
On 5 Nov 2004 03:02:59 GMT, Mark Thompson
<[email protected]> wrote:


>Pros
>Long battery life for such a bright light
>Lightish (weighs a bit more than 4 AA battries, strangely enough)
>Completely waterproof
>
>Cons
>Outside of the central spot the amount of light is disappointing.
>Only has a steady mode (not that you'd want it flashing - would be an
>instant migraine for oncoming cagers, peds and cyclists.
>Didn't ruddy work until I'd prodded bits.
>How much!??!
>
>Conclusion
>
>The small spot and mediocre brightness outside of the spot lets it down.
>At £40 not an essential purchase


Thanks for the opinion. It does look a nice toy but it's too much for
my pocket, given the alternatives. I can't help feeling that the
Cateye branding attracts a price premium not altogether justified.

The narrowness of the beam would worry me too. I buy front LED lights
to get me seen, not to illuminate the road so I prefer the wider
pattern of some of the other lamps in their range. I remember I
returned a Cateye LED lamp a while back because the beam was so
directional, forget which model, one of the other single LED
"opticube" ones I think.

I've also had problems with Cateye internals, switches particularly.
It's been often enough that I'm not sure I'm going to buy another
Cateye front lamp. Over the last couple of years I've used at least 4
Cateyes from the EL range and have had dodgy switches on three of
them. The latest one went wonky just a week or so back. It had been
sitting on a shelf untouched for several months (it's a spare) and all
of a sudden, without any prompting, it decided it wanted to be ON all
the time. Damn thing will not turn off unless the batteries are
removed. Grrr.
--

"Bob"

'The revolution is just a T shirt away'

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